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ECU starts with a win

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East Carolina's Andrew Henrickson (4) celebrates with teammates during a game against UNC Wilmington on April 3 at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

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The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The American Athletic Conference baseball tournament began Tuesday morning in Clearwater, Fla., with a high-scoring and slow-moving game that lasted nearly four hours and ended as an 8-4 win for No. 4 seed East Carolina over No. 5 UCF, giving the Pirates 40 wins for the season.

It also gave ECU (40-15) a quality RPI victory early in a week that will be huge for NCAA tournament seeding and also could be tricky for the AAC because of reports from Florida suggesting a lot of rain in the forecast. The Pirates were originally scheduled to get a day off because of their win, but instead are slated for their second-round game Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. against upset winner Tulane during a fluid schedule situation.

Multiple fields at the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training complex are planned for use Wednesday in an attempt to play six games.

UCF (35-20) got to Chris Holba and plated three runs in the top of the first inning, but relievers Davis Kirkpatrick, Ryan Ross and Zach Barnes delivered clutch outings, not allowing any runs.

Andrew Henrickson provided a big boost offensively. He finished 3-for-4 with a double, triple and four RBIs. His double to right-center field with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh scored all three runners for an 8-4 lead.

“He played really well last year when he was here and we’ve talked about that he likes this place,” Pirate coach Cliff Godwin said of Henrickson during his postgame interview on the American Digital Network. “He’s a senior who has contributed a lot to our prograrm and plays his butt off all the time. I’m happy for him.”

Ross, also a senior, tossed two scoreless innings and didn’t yield a hit while striking out three batters for the pitching victory.

Bryant Packard finished 0-for-5, stopping his ECU-record and nation-leading hit streak at 32 games. Spencer Brickhouse and Alec Burleson, who will likely be the Pirates’ next starting pitcher, each went 2-for-4.

There is a chance the weather could be nasty enough to not allow the tourney to be completed as scheduled by Sunday afternoon.

"In the event that the tournament cannot be completed, then no champion would be declared," league spokesman Chuck Sullivan told the Tampa Bay Times. "The automatic bid to the NCAA (tournament) would go to the highest remaining seed."

UCF was without weekend starter Joe Sheridan due to injury and made an unconventional move by starting left-handed reliever Luis Ferrer, who made his second start of the season and recorded only one out.

The Pirates rallied to tie it, 3-3, in the second inning, and two more runs by the home team in the third made it 5-3 to offset a rough start by Holba, who was pitching on four days rest. He issued seven free passes — four walks, three hit batsmen — in allowing four runs on two hits in 3 1/3 frames.

Brickhouse hit a two-strike, two-out RBI single for the 3-3 tie and Henrickson’s RBI triple to deep right field in the third scored Connor Litton for a 4-3 edge. Brady Lloyd followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3.

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ECU

February 17, 2019

East Carolina softball’s four-game undefeated run through the Pirate Clash ended Sunday with the Pirates off to their best start to a season since beginning 8-0 in 2006.

After two walk-off wins Friday, Erin Poepping’s 10-strikeout performance from the circle Saturday night guided a…

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February 17, 2019

The East Carolina basketball team in the puzzle-piece printed uniforms on Sunday afternoon showed again it is still missing some pieces.

The Pirates hit just one field goal in the opening eight minutes against Tulsa and trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half before storming back and…

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February 17, 2019

Facing cold temperatures and an early deficit at Clark-LeClair Stadium, there were times Sunday when things could have gotten away from East Carolina’s baseball team.

The Pirates battled, however, and rallied during the middle and late innings to beat Radford 4-3 and complete an opening…

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February 17, 2019

East Carolina basketball coaches have been hot on the recruiting trail, including for Boston 7-footer Charles Coleman who also is a target by Wake Forest, Duke and DePaul, as the Pirates have faced difficulties on the court for another season.

A 79-69 loss to Memphis on Wednesday night, a game in…

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February 16, 2019

East Carolina was busy on indoor and outdoor tennis courts this weekend, highlighted by the ECU women winning both of their matches in Greenville for a four-match win streak.

The Pirates (4-2) took a 5-2 victory over James Madison at the River Birch Tennis Center, then swept Campbell at the ECU…

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February 16, 2019

After serving as East Carolina baseball’s first starting pitcher of the season and hitting for himself as the designated hitter, Alec Burleson was thinking he would remain at DH or maybe play first base for Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader versus Radford.

Instead, some conversations led…

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February 15, 2019

A total of 21 runs by East Carolina powered the Pirates to a college baseball opening day sweep of Radford at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday.

Spencer Brickhouse’s go-ahead, two-run home run keyed a 6-2 win, then ECU used a 16-hit barrage for a 15-9 victory in Game 2 of the doubleheader…

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February 15, 2019

CATCHER

Jake Washer, junior: Washer is back as East Carolina’s starting catcher after receiving Major League Baseball draft interest following his breakout sophomore season. In addition to showing power with six home runs and 40 RBIs a year ago, Washer posted a smooth .287 batting average.…

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February 15, 2019

Equipped with All-American Bryant Packard ready to serve again as East Carolina’s leadoff man in the batting order and a stable of proven pitchers who battled during the preseason for lead rotation spots, ECU is ready to face an opponent and begin a new season.

Radford’s visit to Clark-…

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February 15, 2019

WEEKEND ROTATION

FRIDAY

Alec Burleson, sophomore: Burleson will be a frequent player at designated hitter and first base in the lineup, but his main focus in the season opener versus Radford will be on the pitcher’s mound. The left-hander, who was the American Athletic Conference rookie…

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